In the afternoon on 5th March 2020, in Da Nang City, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung, Head of Viet Nam ASEAN SOM chaired the 9th Meeting of ASEAN Coordinating Council Working Group (ACCWG). High-ranking officials of ASEAN member countries from the pillars: Politics – Security, Economics and Socio-Culture and representative of ASEAN Secretariat attended the meeting.
At the meeting, the representatives updated and discussed assistance activities for Timor-Leste improving their capability and preparations to join ASEAN as a new member. Accordingly, the member countries agreed the survey results of ASEAN Political – Security Community (APSC) from September 2019.
As planned, this year, a survey team of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and ASEAN Socio - Cultural Community (ASCC) will come to Timor- Leste to evaluate the capability and readiness of Timor- Leste in the context of economics and socio-culture. It is expected that the evaluation results will be summarized and reported to the ASEAN Coordinating Council by the end of this year.
In addition, participants also agreed to continue supporting Timor-Leste in the process of strengthening and improving the institutions, economic development, living standards and knowledge of people.
Speaking at the meeting, Deputy Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung emphasized that the major task of ACCWG will focus on evaluating the capability and readiness of Timor-Leste in joining ASEAN as well as its impact to ASEAN, then, propose appropriate recommendations and report to Minister of Foreign Affairs and high- ranking leaders. Deputy Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung suggested that ACCWG should focus on completing three survey teams; based on the survey results, to build an overall assessment report on Timor – Leste’s capability and propose specific recommendations.
“Together with ASEAN member countries, Viet Nam will continue give Timor-Leste appropriate support, including sharing experience on preparations to join ASEAN”, affirmed by Deputy Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung.
Timor-Leste officially submitted an application for ASEAN membership in 2011. In 2012, ASEAN leaders directed the establishment of ASEAN Coordinating Council Working Group with high-ranking officials from three pillars: Politics – Security, Economics, Social – Culture to consider and evaluate the capability, readiness of Timor-Leste as well as the impact of membership expansion. The evaluation results and recommendations of ACCWG will be reported to ASEAN Coordinating Council for consideration before being submitted to high-ranking leaders for decision.